The orchid flora of Turkish graveyards: a comprehensive field survey

Loeki V., Toekoelyi J., Sueveges K., Lovas-Kiss A., Hurkan K., Sramko G., ...More

WILLDENOWIA, vol.45, no.2, pp.231-243, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.3372/wi.45.45209
  • Journal Name: WILLDENOWIA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.231-243
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: No


Graveyards in Turkey are widely known among orchidologists as places where several orchid (Orchidaceae) taxa can be found, including some very rare and localized ones. Graveyards are less strongly affected by landscape-altering human activities than other habitats because of their special cultural roles and religious privileges. In this study we performed a comprehensive survey of Turkish graveyards as orchid habitats. In total, 300 graveyards were studied in 30 provinces of Turkey in 2014. Altogether, we found 86 orchid taxa (almost half of the known Turkish orchid flora) in 208 graveyards. Among the studied provinces, Mugla and Antalya, in the southwest, emerged as peaks of taxon richness. This finding is in accordance with the overall biogeographic pattern of orchid diversity in Turkey. Our survey also contributes new floristic data to the orchid flora of Turkey. Additionally we documented salep collection in ten graveyards from six provinces involving nine taxa. We conclude that the occurrence of orchids in Turkish graveyards is not a rare phenomenon, and thus graveyards can be important refuges for orchids in the changing economic and agricultural circumstances of Turkey.